4 pounds Russet potatoes
1 medium red onion, sliced into half-moons
Salt and black pepper, to taste
4-6 ounces feta cheese
For the Vinaigrette:
Garnish:fresh rosemary, sliced scallions, parsley, or oregano
Preheat the oven to 375°F, 190°C.
Using a sharp knife or a mandolin, thinly slice the potatoes. You may slice them with their skin on or peel them before slicing.
Arrange the slices in a round baking dish or a cast iron skillet, in a circular pattern to form a spiral.
Place the onion slices between some of the potato slices.
Combine the vinaigrette ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together.
Sprinkle with a generous amount of salt (about 1 tablespoon) and pepper, to taste.
Pour the vinaigrette over the potatoes or use a brush to coat them with it.
Roast in the center rack of the oven, uncovered for 1 hour and 20 minutes.
Remove the skillet from the oven and crumble the feta cheese over the potatoes to fill the nooks and crannies.
Roast for an additional 20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender on the inside and crisp on top.
Garnish with your favorite herbs and serve. Enjoy!
PRINT THIS RECIPE HERE:
2 racks of lamb, 7 to 8 ribs each, frenched
Salt and pepper, to taste
1-2 tablespoons dried oregano
For the lamb marinade:
For the sauce:
Serve the lamb with any of these:
Note:Purchase the racks of lamb already frenched or let your butcher take care of that. You can follow the instructions on how to French the lamb rack yourself here.
Preheat the oven to 425 °F, 220 °C.
Marinate the lamb:
Combine the marinade ingredients in a bowl and whisk together until combined.
Place the lamb racks in. a baking dish or sheet pan. Pour the marinade over the lamb and rub it all over to coat the lamb.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate up to 2 days.
Allow the meat to come to room temperature before roasting.
Season with salt and pepper on both sides and with oregano.
Use kitchen twine to tie 2 of the ribs together to attach both racks.
Bend the racks into a crown shape and use the twine to tie the bottom part of the rack. Wrap the twine around the bottom 3-4 times tightening as you go taking care to keep the crown-shape.
Tie the other 2 ribs together and place the crown into a Bundt pan. This will help it keep its shape while roasting.
Pour the remaining marinade into the Bundt pan.
Cover the exposed bones with foil.
Roast for 35 minutes or until the desired doneness is reached:
Make the sauce:
Combine all of the ingredients except for the pan juices. Whisk together until combined. Add the pan juices after the meat rests. Pour into a serving bowl and serve alongside the lamb.
Serve the lamb:
If serving the lamb with Mediterranean Rice Pilaf, create a bed of rice on a serving dish and place the crown on top. Fill the lamb cavity with the rice pilaf (make sure it’s still hot to help keep the lamb warm).
Carefully remove all the string.
Carve the roast by slicing between the rib bones. Enjoy!
PRINT THIS RECIPE HERE:
If you’re looking for an easy Entertaining Idea to please a crowd, a Mezze platter is the perfect way to go! Fill a platter or a wooden cutting board with your favorite dips, cheese, colorful veggies, and bread, call some friends over and enjoy.
A variety of dips, choose 2-3:
Homemade or store-bought pita chips or slices of warm pita bread
Artfully arrange the dips on the platter/board. Fill the empty spaces with veggies, chips, dolmades, and your favorite Greek appetizers. Drizzle the feta and the dolmades with olive oil and sprinkle some dried oregano on top.
Makes about 24 pieces:
1-pound (#4) phyllo pastry, thawed and at room temperature
¾ pound unsalted butter, melted
For the filling:
For the syrup:
Garnish: ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 °F, 180 °C.
Make the syrup:Combine all of the syrup ingredients in a small saucepan. Mix well and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
Combine the filling ingredients in a bowl and mix together. Set aside.
Take the phyllo out of its packaging and unroll it. Lay it flat onto a cutting board or clean work surface. Place a baking dish over the phyllo and cut the sheets to fit the inside of the pan.
Note:I usually cut my phyllo roll into 2 equal stacks to fit a 9 by 13-inch baking dish.
Brush the bottom of the baking pan with butter and lay 4 sheets over it. Sprinkle about 2 tablespoons of the nut mixture over top.
Take 4 -5 sheets of phyllo and set them aside for the top of the baklava. Cover them with a clean kitchen towel.
Layer 2 sheets of phyllo in the pan and sprinkle some nut filling over top. Continue this pattern of 2 phyllo sheets and nuts until all of the nuts mixture and phyllo are used. Place the reserved 4 sheets of phyllo on top.
Cut the baklava into 24 squares or diamond shaped pieces.
Pour all of the melted butter over top and sprinkle some water (about 3 tablespoons) over the edges of the baklava.
Bake for 45 minutes – 1 hour or until golden brown on top.
Remove from the oven and pour the cooled syrup over the baklava.
Set aside and allow the baklava to absorb all of the syrup. About 4 hours.
Serve alongside some Greek coffee.
2 and ½ Russet (baking) potatoes, peeled and cubed
6 egg yolks at room temperature
6 tablespoons butter, melted
¼ cup sour cream
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 tablespoon thyme leaves
Zest and juice of a lemon
Optional: white pepper, to taste, grated cheese such as Gruyere, Parmesan, Swiss, or Cheddar
Preheat oven to 425 °F, 220 °C.
Place the potatoes in a pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and cook until very soft.
Drain the potatoes and either pass them through a food mill, a ricer, or mash them until smooth.
Add melted butter, sour cream, and salt, lemon zest, and juice. Taste it and adjust the seasoning. Mix in the egg yolks and thyme.
Transfer the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip or use a spoon and a fork.
Pipe mounds onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
Bake for 20 minutes.
Make ahead tips:Pipe portions onto a baking sheet and store in the refrigerator until ready to bake that same day or transfer to the freezer until firm. Store in freezer bags up to 3 days.
20 jumbo (uncooked) pasta shells
3 cups pasta sauce
8 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
Garnish: 2 scallions, finely sliced
For the Filling:
For the Béchamel Sauce:
Preheat the oven to 400 °F, 200 °C.
Cook the pasta shells in boiling salted water for 10 minutes. Drain the pasta and rinse with cold water so that the shells don’t stick together and to stop the cooking process.
To make the spinach filling: Warm the olive oil along with the garlic clove over medium heat for a few seconds or just until the garlic releases its aroma. Take care not to burn it or it will become extremely bitter.
Add the chopped spinach and cook just until it wilts, stirring often.
Place the wilted spinach in a large mixing bowl. Add the ricotta cheese, crumble the feta into the bowl, add the dill, and season with some black pepper and crushed red pepper flakes. Taste and add salt if needed. Mix in the beaten eggs and set aside.
To make the Béchamel sauce: Combine the flour and oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk well while cooking a few minutes until toasted.
Slowly add the milk in and whisk well to incorporate so that it is smooth and creamy.
Cook until it comes to a boil and thickens. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Remove from heat.
Whisk the eggs together in a bowl. Add some of the hot milk mixture into the eggs and whisk to temper them so that they don't scramble when added to the cream sauce.
Add the eggs to the sauce and whisk well.
Add the parmesan (Gruyere) cheese and mix to combine.
To assemble everything:Pour a layer of tomato sauce in a 9 by 13-inch baking pan.
Stuff the shells with the spinach filling and arrange the shells over the sauce.
Pour some béchamel sauce over the shells and top with shredded mozzarella cheese and cover with aluminum foil.
Bake the tray of stuffed shells (on the middle oven rack) covered with foil for 25-30 minutes, then uncover and bake until the cheese is golden by turning the broiler element on for the last 5 minutes. Keep an eye on it so that they don’t burn.
Garnish the stuffed shells with some sliced scallions and serve. Enjoy!
Make Ahead Freezer Instructions: Thaw the tray of shells overnight in the refrigerator then bake as usual. If they are not thawed overnight, place them in the oven while it is still cold and allow them to warm through slowly while the oven is pre-heating. It will take about 15-20 minutes longer for the shells to cook.
Makes 2 chickens:
2 whole chickens
3 pounds shallots, peeled
Inside each chicken cavity:
Preheat oven to 400°F, 200 °C.
Combine all of the red pepper sauce ingredients in a food processor and pulse until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning if desired. Place 2 cups of the sauce in a bowl to stuff the chickens with and store the remaining sauce in a bowl in the refrigerator.
Place the shallots in a baking dish large enough to hold the chickens. Drizzle them with ¼ cup olive oil and season with some salt. Roast for 15 minutes while you prepare the chickens.
Combine all of the herb butter ingredients in a bowl and whisk them together to combine.
Season the cavity of each chicken with salt, cumin powder, and red pepper flakes, and add the garlic cloves.
Use your fingers or a spoon to carefully separate the skin from the chickens from the breast to create a pocket that will hold the red pepper sauce. Place a tablespoon of the herb butter under the skin of each breast. Spread it all around with your fingers.
Place ¾ cup – 1 cup of red pepper sauce under the skin of the chicken breasts. Spread around so that it can reach the thighs as well.
Tie the legs with butcher’s twine.
Remove the shallots from the oven and place the chickens in the pan along with them.
Pour the remaining herb butter over the chickens. Season with salt and pepper.
Reduce the oven temperature to 350 °F, 180 *C.
Roast the chickens (uncovered) for 1 and ½ to 2 hours or until the internal temperature reaches 165 °F. This usually takes 2 hours when roasting 2 chickens in one baking pan.
Allow the chickens to rest at least 15 minutes so that they stay juicy. Pour the pan juices in a gravy boat and serve alongside the chicken.
Serve with some toasted bread and more red pepper sauce.
Makes about 30 grape leaves:
1 pound cut up lamb shoulder (with bone)
16 ounces grape leaves from a jar, rinsed, drained, and stems removed
3/4 cup olive oil
1 pound ground lean beef
½ cup rice, uncooked
1 onion, finely chopped
4 cups water or chicken broth
½ cup chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
1 teaspoon dried crushed oregano
1 teaspoon salt or to taste
freshly ground pepper to taste
1/4 cup freshly lemon juice
For the lemon sauce:
3 cups dolmades broth
¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 egg yolks
1 and 1.2 tablespoons corn starch
Salt, to taste
¼ - ½ teaspoon dried dill
Combine the onion with ¼ cup olive oil in a pot and cook over medium heat until soft and golden. About 10 minutes.
Combine the ground beef, herbs, rice, salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl and mix well. Add the cooked onions and the oil that they were cooked in. Mix until combined.
Rinse and dry the grape leaves. Cut the hard stem from each leaf. Reserve the smallest and the torn leaves to lay on bottom of pot.
Lay a grape leaf shiny side down and place a tablespoon of rice filling on the bottom end of the leaf, near the stem.
Fold the stem end of leaf over the filling. Fold the sides over and roll up snugly but not too tight. The rice will expand while cooking.
Repeat with all of the remaining grape leaves until your filling is done.
Layer half of the small and torn grape leaves to create a bed for the dolmades in a pot.
Season the lamb on both sides with salt and pepper and place in the pot along with the grape leaves.
Place the dolmades seam side down and very close together over the bed of leaves. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
Pour the olive oil and lemon juice over the dolmades.
Place the remaining reserved small leaves over the dolmades.
Pour the water or chicken stock over the dolmades.
Place an inverted plate over the dolmades to weigh them down and to prevent them from moving around and opening while cooking.
Cover with lid and bring to a boil.
Reduce to a simmer and cook about 45 minutes or until tender.
Carefully strain the liquid out of the pot into a pitcher. There should be 3 cups of liquid. Add more water or chicken broth if there’s not enough. Place the broth in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
Combine the egg yolks, cornstarch, lemon juice, and dill in a small bowl and whisk together until smooth.
Add some of the hot broth to the eggs and whisk well to temper.
Add the egg mixture to the pot and whisk to combine. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook 2-3 minutes or until slightly thickened.
Either pour the sauce over the dolmades or pour some over them and serve the remaining sauce in a gravy boat alongside the dolmades with some lemon wedges.
Makes 2 pies
For the Shortbread Crust:
3/4-pound unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
For the Pumpkin Filling:
8 ounces softened cream cheese
2 ounces unsalted butter, softened
2 cups pure pumpkin puree
1 cup granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
3 egg yolks
1 cup whole milk, warm or at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
For the Whipped Cream:
2 cups cold heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons (or more) confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
The Shortbread Crust:Combine the butter, salt, both sugars, and vanilla extract in the bowl of a table top mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. This can also be done with a hand blender and a large mixing bowl.
Beat beginning on low speed until all of the sugar is incorporated. Increase the speed to high and beat until creamy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl at least once in between mixing so everything is evenly incorporated.
Add the flour in 2-3 batches mixing on low speed. Beat until a dough begins to form. Some crumbled dough may remain at the bottom of the bowl. This will all come together when the dough is formed into a ball on the counter.
Remove all of the dough from the mixer on a clean work surface (counter) and press it together to form a disk. A ball can be formed first and then press it down with your palm to form the disc.
Divide the dough into 2 equal portions.
Press each portion of dough into a 9 and ½ - 10-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Chill in the freezer at least 1 hour or until the dough is very firm. This can be wrapped in plastic and kept frozen up to 1 month. Chilling it well is required so that the tart keeps its shape during baking.
The Pumpkin Filling:Combine the softened butter, cream cheese, sugar, cinnamon, salt, and ginger in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on low speed until combined and smooth.
Add the egg yolks and beat until combined. Add the pumpkin puree along with the milk and beat until combined. Finish mixing it with a whisk or a spatula (by hand) to make sure everything is mixed well.
Preheat the oven to 350 °F, 180 °C.
Place the tart pan on a baking sheet and bake in the center rack of the oven for 15 minutes. Pierce the tart with a fork all over to release steam and so that it keeps its shape. Bake an additional 5-10 minutes or until toasted and lightly golden in color.
Note:You can bake both tart shells in the same oven at simultaneously on separate racks just switch their place halfway through baking to cook evenly. (move the bottom tray to the middle and vice versa)
Divide the pumpkin filling equally to fill both baked tart shells.
Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the filling is set but still has some jiggle to it. Over baking will cause the pie to crack down the center of the filling.
Once the pie comes to room temperature, chill it in the refrigerator (preferably overnight) then carefully remove it from the tart pan.
Set on a serving plate.
To make the whipped cream, combine the heavy cream, sugar and vanilla extract in the bowl of a tabletop mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and whisk on low speed until it begins to thicken then on high speed until it thickens to the consistency of yogurt.
Serve the whipped cream alongside the pie in a separate bowl, dollop it onto the center of the pie, or decorate the pie by piping out whipped cream rosettes all around using a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip.
This pie can (and should) be made 1 day ahead of time and kept chilled in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
Hi, I'm Dimitra and welcome to my blog! Here, I'll teach you just how much fun and easy it is to please a crowd with my versions of Greek classics. Kali Orexi as we say in Greek!